Archived No

Effective Date

Approval Date

Steward Purchasing & Contracts Manager

Approval Authority President and Vice Presidents

Signature File


Full Text of the Policy

General. The purchasing manager supervises the purchasing office and the purchase of goods and services and contracted services for all offices and departments of the College. Purchasing shall:
Expedite delivery of urgently needed goods and services;

  • Assist offices and departments in the preparation of specifications for goods and services;
  • Maintain a library of vendor catalogs and web sites for campus use and inform offices and departments of new and improved products;
  • Whenever possible, combine orders and standardize specifications to achieve best pricing;
  • Coordinate with other state agencies and institutions on procurement matters;
  • Take full advantage of all Washington State, Washington Institutions of Public Higher Education (WIPHE), and College contracts, in an effort to obtain goods and services in the most effective and economical manner.

Authority. The president has delegated authority (see attachment A) for contractual commitments on behalf of The Evergreen State College. The purchasing manager shall contract for the purchase of personal services, supplies, goods, equipment, purchased services and public works in accordance with the laws and regulations of the state of Washington. (e.g., RCW 43.19.190; RCW 28B.10.350; RCW 39.04, and RCW 39.29).
Except for the petty cash process and bona fide emergency purchases, no individual has the authority to enter into purchasing contracts or in any way obligate the college for procurement indebtedness unless specifically authorized to do so by the board of trustees. Any commitments made by an unauthorized person are to be considered as unauthorized purchases and the individual involved may incur a personal obligation to the vendor.

Exceptions :

  • The bookstore has its own purchasing staff that procures all goods and services for the bookstore from a point of sale system;
  • The information technology buyer , reporting to the computing and communications department, is responsible for the procurement and authorization of computer and computer related goods and services along with telecommunications goods and services, and multimedia goods and services;
  • The facilities department is responsible for primary public works requiring competitive solicitation such as construction, paving, well drilling, etc.
  • The library is responsible for procurement of books, periodicals, tapes, videos, and other goods specific to the library.

Purchases outlined above shall be made in accordance with the laws and regulations of the state of Washington. (e.g., RCW 43.19.190; RCW 28b.10.35; RCW 39.04, and RCW 39.29)

An emergency purchase is made in response to unforeseen circumstances which either present a real, immediate, and extreme threat to the proper performance of essential functions of the College or which may result in: excessive loss or damage to property, a bodily injury, or loss of life. The purchasing manager must be notified as soon as possible of all emergency purchases and is responsible for preparing a declaration of emergency purchase form, pursuant to RCW 43.19.200, to send to the state's Department of General Administration within three (3) days of the purchasing action.


  • Specification: a clear, accurate description of the technical requirements for a material, product, supply, or service;
  • Standards: descriptions which establish engineering or technical limitations and applications for materials, processes, methods, designs, or drafting room and engineering practices or any related criteria determined essential to achieve the highest practical degree of uniformity;
  • Restrictive specifications: descriptions that narrow the field of possibilities for purchase. However, restrictive specifications for products and supplies may not restrict competition; one may not specify features that are particular to the product of one manufacturer, producer, or distributor and thereby preclude consideration of a product of another company. The purchasing manager may require explanations for specifications that appear to be overly restrictive. Brand names with "or equal" after them is an acceptable way to describe common items. The exception may occur when restrictive specifications describe unique features essential to requirements of the user.

Authority to submit purchase requests.

All purchase requests are created within the College's automated financial system (Banner). Staff must be trained and approved to work in the purchasing module of Banner. Persons authorizing a purchase request for purchases in his/her office or department under a specified organization number must be trained and authorized to complete on-line approvals within Banner. If needed, the purchasing office can assist with the creation of a purchase request. The purchasing office has training materials that explain how to properly prepare a purchase request. The purchasing office is responsible for providing training to those using the Banner automated purchasing module.

Special conditions:

  • Electronic equipment: The technical support services (TSS) office must approve the specifications for electronic equipment before they are sent to the information technology buyer. The TSS office may assist in the preparation of the specifications if needed;
  • Motor pool equipment: The Evergreen State College motor pool maintains all motorized vehicles and must approve specifications before they are sent to the purchasing office;
  • Computers and computer related equipment: the information technology buyer purchases all computer and computer related equipment. He/she will assist with the preparation of specifications and ensure that all requirements of the Washington State Department of Information Services are met.
  • Purchases requiring prepayment.

Normally, goods, materials, and services must be received and accepted before payment can be made (RCW 43.88.160(2)(d)). When a vendor will not ship goods or provide services without receiving payment in advance, as in the case of U.S. government documents or certain other items like conference registration, instructional video tapes, magazine subscriptions and maintenance agreements up to one year in advance, a requisition with an accurate and complete description of the item or service is required. An invoice or brochure indicating the terms of sale, the price and a complete address for the vendor shall also be submitted to the purchasing office as backup documentation for the requisition.

Unauthorized purchases.

The following items may not be purchased with state funds:

  • Personal items such as desk sets, briefcases and clocks. Business cards are authorized, but must be purchased through The Evergreen State College graphics office;
  • Personal appliances such as coffee makers, refrigerators and toasters.
  • Food and drink, unless requested with a completed Meals & Light Refreshment Authorization Request signed by the appropriate vice president, and related items;
  • Gift items;
  • Decorative items for offices and classrooms such as pictures, picture frames, plants, holiday decorations and decorative lamps.
  • Traffic citations, parking tickets and deductions for private vehicle insurance coverage.

Purchases from employees of the College and/or their relatives.

Generally, no purchases of supplies, equipment, or services shall be made from members of the faculty or staff. Also, no purchase shall be made from the relatives of College employees if such employees have budgetary or purchasing approval authority for the items or services being purchased.

  • If the service is not available from any other source and the item is required for the operation of the College, a written exception to this policy must be approved by the Vice President for Finance and Administration before the contract is completed. Under no condition will the College purchase an item from an employee if it is available from a vendor.
  • Under no circumstances will a purchase be made from an employee if that person's employment and private enterprise raise a conflict of interest. Neither will a purchase be completed if the employee intends to use College facilities, equipment and/or supplies in providing the item or service.

Printing . The College shall procure printing in accordance with the options described in RCW 28b.10.029. All purchases shall be in accordance with the laws and regulations of the state of Washington. (RCW 43.19)

Procurement methods. All purchases paid for with state funds and most student activities fee monies shall be made in accordance with the laws and regulations of the state of Washington. (RCW 43.19)

  • All mandatory and convenience contracts written by the Office of State Procurement and the Department of Information Services will be used when appropriate;
  • Goods, supplies, and services under $3,000 are considered direct buys and may be placed without bids based on experience and knowledge of the market in achieving the required quality at the most economical cost;
  • Goods, supplies, and services between $3,000 to $42,299 may be made by securing quotations from enough vendors to assure establishment of a competitive price (at least three quotes must be obtained). A record of competition for all such purchases shall be documented for audit purposes;
  • Goods, supplies, and services of $42,300 or more must be made under formal sealed bid procedures or a request for proposal procedure;
  • Computer equipment purchases. Note: all computer equipment and computer-related purchases must be directed to the information technology buyer.
    • Computer equipment purchases under $10,000 may be made without bids based on experience and knowledge of the market in achieving the required quality at the most economical cost.
    • Computer equipment purchases between $10,000 and $99,999 may be made by securing written or verbal quotations from a minimum of three qualified vendors to assure establishment of a competitive price. A record of competition for all such purchases shall be documented for audit purposes.
    • Computer equipment purchases between $100,000 and $249,999 dollars may be made by securing written or verbal quotations from a minimum of five qualified vendors.
    • Computer equipment purchases of $250,000 to $1,000,000 require formal sealed bid or request for proposal procedure.
    • Computer equipment purchases over $1,000,000 require Washington State Department of Information Services (DIS) assistance. DIS will dictate the purchasing procedures to be used.
  • Public works contracts shall be in accordance with RCW 39.04 through 39.19 and the policies and procedures written by the state Department of General Administration.
  • Personal service contracts shall be in accordance with RCW 39.29, and the policies and procedures written by the state Office of Financial Management.
  • Grant fund accounts are administered in accordance with the terms and conditions agreed to in the grant contract. In the absence of sufficient terms and conditions in the grant contract, the purchasing procedures for state funded accounts are used. All purchases from grant funds accounts must be approved by the grant accountant before the purchasing office completes any purchase.
  • Agency fund accounts are not governed by the state's purchasing statute RCW 43.19.190 through 200. The accounting office shall approve all purchase requests for sufficient funds before the purchasing office acts on the request.

Procurement card purchases. See separate policy.

Emergencies: When the Campus Emergency Operations Center is activated, the purchasing manager and the information technology buyer have authority to utilize their procurement card for a single transaction limit up to $10,000.

Rental and lease agreements. The director of facilities in cooperation with the Department of General Administration, Real Estate Division, shall negotiate facilities rentals and leases. The purchasing office handles equipment rentals and leases along with meeting/conference facilities rentals. The Vice President for Finance and Administration must approve all rentals and leases that extend beyond a fiscal year.

Merchandise return. The requesting office/department/program is responsible for contacting a vendor for an official return authorization when returning merchandise. The merchandise is to be packed properly for shipment and taken to the mailroom. If necessary, a Request For Shipment of Merchandise form, available in the mailroom, will be completed by the requester.

Personal services contracts. A request for contract services shall be defined as an agreement with an independent contractor for the rendering of personal services to the College. Personal services contracts shall comply with RCW 39.29 and the policies and procedures published by the state Office of Financial Management. The agreement form, which is available in the copy center or electronically as a Word document from the purchasing office, shall be used for all personal services.

Personal service contract negotiations. Any account manager, who has met the OFM required training, may enter into personal service contracts. The request for contract services form must be completed and signed by all parties, including the purchasing manager, in advance of any services being performed.

Personal service filing requirements. OFM policies and procedures require the following contracts to be filed by the purchasing office with OFM if state funds are used:

  • Sole source contracts and amendments of $5,000 or more must be filed with OFM at least 10 working days prior to the proposed start date and must be accompanied by documentation justifying a sole source procurement.
  • Emergency contracts and amendments of $5,000 or more must be filed with OFM within three working days following the date of execution or start of work, whichever occurs first.
  • Competitive contracts and amendments (not included in categories below) of $20,000 or more must be filed with OFM. Work may start on or after the working day filed with OFM.
  • Competitive contracts and amendments for: management consulting, organizational development, marketing, communications, employee training, and employee recruiting of $20,000 or more must be filed with OFM at least 10 working days prior to the proposed start date and must be accompanied by documentation of competition.
  • Amendments which would increase the competitive or sole source contract by 50 percent of the original contract value, or which would constitute a substantial change in the scope of work on competitive or sole source contracts of $5,000 or more must be filed with OFM at least 10 working days prior to the proposed start date.

Personal service competitive bid requirements. Unless the type of contract or the service being sought is exempted by procedures, "competitive solicitation" is required for contracts of $20,000 or greater, and "evidence of competition" is required for contracts of $5,000 or greater but less than $20,000. This limitation applies to the cumulative amount of contracted services during the fiscal year. The purchasing manager may assist in clarifying competitive solicitation or may help determine what is required to demonstrate evidence of competition.

Client services. Personal services provided directly to the College's clients are exempt from the competitive procurement and OFM filing requirements. Students and the public may be considered clients for contracts where the services benefit them directly, e.g., counseling, workshops, some entertainment, etc. (RCW 39.29)

Contracting with nonresident aliens.

  • All nonresident aliens must have a type H-1 visa to contract with the College.
  • Any nonresident alien not having a type H-1 visa must apply for and receive one from the U.S. Immigration Office prior to contracting with the College. Non-resident aliens must also file a form MA-7-508 with the U.S. Department of Labor at the same time they apply for the H-1 visa. The individual shall be responsible for the filing fee to the Department of Labor and Immigration Office. Internal Revenue Service regulations require the College to withhold income tax on payments to nonresidents.

Faculty and staff personal service contracts. Compensation to a faculty or staff member for College service not represented by his/her regular salary may be paid only under exceptional circumstances. A member of the faculty may be employed under contracted personal services only during periods not covered by his/her academic contract. A staff employee may be employed during regular working hours under contracted personal services only while on authorized leave. A memorandum from the employee's supervisor certifying the employee's authorized leave should accompany the contract along with a statement confirming the contracted services lie outside the employee's regular job duties. Use of state resources is not allowed under these circumstances.

Honorariums. An honorarium may be paid to a non-university employee for performing services, if the time of all such services does not exceed three (3) calendar days in a calendar year. The total amount paid to an individual as honoraria may not exceed $4,950.00 in a calendar year and may not exceed $2,000 per day. Amounts identified for travel and per diem may not exceed state per diem regulations.

The following forms must be submitted to purchasing for processing:

  • An Evergreen State College Service Reimbursement Form indicating the beginning and ending date of service performed, the service or expenses being paid, the dollar amount paid, the budget account being charged, and an appropriate budget signature.
  • Additional forms and information regarding Visa status are required if the person performing the services is a non-resident foreigner. The time required to process payments to foreigners is significantly greater than for U.S. residents. See section (18)(a)(b) above or contact Accounts Payable at x6351 for instructions on processing payments to foreigners.

All payments that do not meet the above regulations must be processed as personal service or client service agreements; subject to state Office of Financial Management review, and requires a written contract.

Services/Reimbursement Form. A Services/Reimbursement (SR) form is used to pay honorariums, personal services and authorized reimbursements. The form is available electronically on the college's network "N" drive.

Employee and new employee moving expense policy. The purchasing manager is responsible for processes authorized new employee moves as described in the college's Relocation Compensation policy.

Paper purchases. In keeping with the college's General Use Paper Purchasing Policy, the purchasing office will make available a list of vendors who offer 100% post-consumer recycled paper, along with pricing of the product.

Purchasing is responsible for certain single trade public works such as installation and/or repair of windows and window coverings, doors, built-in cabinetry, etc. The Facilities Department is responsible for all public works capital projects.

Multimedia includes, but is not limited to items such as: video data projectors, all digital products, all computer run products, etc.

Ref RCW 28B.20.27 Allocation of moneys for acquisition of works or art -- Expenditure by arts commission -- Conditions

Ref Killian outline on the use of student activity funds 23 October 1980 updated 31 March 1987

Ref OFM State Administrative & Accounting Manual (SAAM) Chapter 15.10.25